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India Takes Spamming Crown From the U.S.
In the space of a year, India has overtaken the United States to become the top global contributor of junk messages, responsible for relaying one in ten spam emails.
Most spam comes from home computers that have been compromised by hackers. India's rise to the top spot comes as the number of new Internet users in the country is growing very rapidly, suggesting that computers in the country are not properly protected and that ISPs are not taking spam as seriously as they should.

At the same time last year, the UK resided in sixth place in the table, contributing 3.2% of global spam. Since then, it has fallen off the Dirty Dozen entirely and, in terms of sheer numbers, UK spam has decreased by 47%.

Overall throughput of global email spam messages has decreased since Q1 2011, partly because of better work by ISPs around the world, but also reflecting a change in tactics by cybercriminals. Spammers are increasingly finding traditional email spam ineffective, turning to social networks to spread these kinds of marketing spam campaigns instead.

While basic marketing spam decreases, the amount of messages that spread malware or that represent more targeted attempts to phish usernames, passwords and personal information is increasing.

The top 12 spam-relaying countries for January to March 2012 are as follows:

1. India 9.3%
2. USA 8.3%
3. South Korea 5.7%
4. Indonesia tied with Russia 5.0%
5. Italy 4.9%
6. Brazil 4.3%
7. Poland 3.9%
8. Pakistan 3.3%
9. Vietnam 3.2%
10. Taiwan 2.9%
11. Peru 2.5%
12. Other 41.7%


"The latest stats show that, as more first-time Internet users get online in growing economies, they are not taking measures to block the malware infections that turn their PCs into spam-spewing zombies."

Zombies are the infected computers that form networks called botnets. Botnets are used by cybercriminals to send spam, steal information and launch DDoS 'denial of service' attacks, in which all the zombie computers are told to access a single website at once, forcing it offline.

Top spam-relaying continents for January to March 2012 are as follows:

1. Asia 46.7%
2. Europe 26.9%
3. South America 11.9%
4. North America 10.9%
5. Africa 3.0%
6. Other 0.6%


Spammers are increasingly taking advantage of other platforms to spread their messages. Facebook and Twitter have for some time been targeted with campaigns but, most recently, hot new social network Pinterest has been used by spammers to distribute posts linking to web pages offering to sell goods, or earning commission for the spammers.
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